Basil is ideal for fighting against inflammatory diseases, cancer, bacterial infections, viral infections, stress, cardiovascular problems, etc. It also facilitates normal liver functioning and acts as a natural aphrodisiac.
Basil is also called ‘Saint-Joseph’s wort.’ It is used as a culinary source, but can also be used for medicinal purposes. It derives its name from the Greek word ‘loyal or kingly’ plant. Basil is grown in India abundantly and has been cultivated for more than five thousand years. It is a very tender plant and is mostly used in Italian cuisine. The leaves can have a variety of tastes like pungent, strong or even sweet. It has a very relaxing smell. There are different kinds of Basils like Thai basil, lemon basil, holy basil and African blue basil.
A variety of basil including Ocimum species are grown throughout Asia. Mostly Asian Basil has a flavour which is similar to clove and is much stronger than Mediterranean basils. In India and Nepal holy basil as known as ‘Tulsi’ and is very common and popular. Lemon Basil has a very strong smell due to a chemical known as citral present in it, lemon basil is widely abundant in Indonesia. Basil usually consists of a lot of essential oils, eugenol, camphor (present in African blue basil only), anethole (present in Licorice Basil only), linalool, pinene, methyl chavocil, terpineol and myrcene.
Basil contains essential oils which help to combat against free radical damage to the body. It also protects the cells and DNA structure. Basil helps to give protection to the white blood cells that aid in immune system functioning and also regulating cellular structures. This is due to the presence of water soluble antioxidants like viceninare and orientin. The antioxidants which are present in basil can protect the body from cancerous growth and mutation of cells. Most of the times, toxins are present in our diet which cause stress to occur in the body, Basil has anti-oxidants which help us fight oxidation and slows down the effect of aging.
Basil consists of a lot of helpful essential oils such as linalool, citronellol, eugenol, etc. These oils usually inhibit enzymes that help to fight heart diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases and rheumatoid arthritis. If Basil is consumed on a regular basis by adding to any dish or by mixing it in tea, it can make your immune system much stronger and help you combat against these diseases.
According to many people, Basil has the power to prevent cancer from its root. This is due to the fact that it contains phytochemicals that help to prevent lung, oral, liver and skin cancer. Basil can induce cancer cell apoptosis successfully and stop the cancer cells from spreading throughout the body. This is due to the increase of antioxidant activity which can alter gene expressions. During chemotherapy or radiation therapy, one can keep consuming Basil as a supplemental cancer cure. It is also known to relieve discomfort after chemotherapy in most cases.
Since Basil has anti-bacterial properties, it can provide immense protection against the growth of bacteria inside the human body. Basil extract is also helpful in curing diseases caused by bacteria such as Staph infection and E. Coli. According to studies, Basil acts against the bacteria by inhibiting their growth to a great extent.
Viral infections are very common in kids and teenagers. Basil helps to fight against ailments caused due to virus, bacteria, molds and yeasts. Basil is the best herb which can offer protection by combating candida virus and other forms of skin irritation.
Basil acts as a adaptogen which is a herbal medicine, it helps the body to adapt to stress and reduce the harmful effects of stress on the body. After consuming Basil on a daily basis, one can observe increase in antioxidant activity and decrease in the blood sugar levels. It is also helpful in people who suffer from mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. This is why a lot of people in India chew basil leaves to maintain a healthy body and mind.
Basil contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which assists the muscles to relax and contract. It also maintains a healthy blood pressure in a person. Basil is known to prevent the clumping together of blood platelet which can otherwise result to a blood clot and cause cardiac arrest. Consuming Basil surely promotes our cardiovascular health to a certain extent.
Basil produces enzymes which help to detoxify and have high antioxidant defences. This leads to the decrease of fat build up inside the liver. Fat build up of the liver can cause non alcoholic fatty liver disease and it can be very detrimental for health. Therefore, Basil helps to prevent this disease and keeps one healthy and safe from such ailments.
Neem is beneficial for soothing the discomfort and pain associated with malaria. It also speeds up the healing process due to its antibacterial properties. It is also useful in preventing malaria from occurring.
Basil doesn’t usually cause allergic reaction often on people, but it should not be consumed in excess. Those who are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant should avoid basil as much as possible. People who are on diabetic medication or cholesterol control medication should not consume Basil as it can have detrimental effects on their health.
Basil cannot be grown in a frosty or a very cold area. It also ceases to exist in dry conditions. Basil is cultivated in many countries throughout the world which falls under subtropical climates, temperate climates and Mediterranean areas. Usually they are grown in abundance in places located in Asia and the Mediterranean region.